Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels. Nintendo R&D4 (1986) Nintendo

Super Mario Bros 2/The Lost Levels is the true sequel to Super Mario Bros but because us Westerners were treated like babies we got a different Mario 2.

It wasn’t until much later, when the Super Mario Allstars collection on the SNES was released that we finally got to experience this game. So with that in mind, I am playing the SNES version because it has save states, and unlimited continues!

Anyway, good, bad, or mediocre?


Bowser kidnapped the Princess again. Go rescue her.

Image STILL borrowed from JagoDibuja


The Lost Levels is a platformer, you run left to right and jump over, or on things. Simple.

However, The Lost Levels is bloody difficult. It is kind of like Super Meat Boy in many respects. You may want to stop, assess the next jump, and go for it. But actually, the best and often only way to beat a level is twitch reflexes and speed. From world 5-3 where the game starts to get more difficult, you have to start “just going for it“. So many of the jumps are designed around your momentum, that if you stop to smell the roses you won’t be able to make the next jump. Also, some jumps depend on the clock cycle of an enemies movement, and it is often easier to just run passed the fuckers before they start an insane routine.

Hammer Bros in particular are a pain, and often the only way to pass one is to run and pass them before they start throwing. Some jumps require you to jump on an enemy to make the distance, and again, some of these require you to “JUST GO FOR IT“, slow down and wait, and often the enemy pattern doesn’t realign correctly for you.

This level can suck a dick

While I am nowhere near good enough to speedrun The Lost Levels, I can see how it is done. Some levels I had to do 40 times before I beat them, and by the time you are able to beat a level, you are twitch reflexing to get to the end. So while bloody difficult, Lost Levels is satisfying, and fun

Oh yeah, and warp zones are not always your friend…  I found out the hard way, after 50ish attempts at level 8-1, I accidentally went down a pipe near the flag, and… It took me to World 5-1… Basically, don’t use pipes! Or learn the game… Most pipes are evil, and are not to be trusted.


The 16bit version is obviously twice as bitty. and looks a lot nicer.

Mario and Luigi

The game can be played as either Mario, or Luigi, and this is the first game to make a difference between the two.

Mario is easier to control, but has a poorer jump. He is also susceptible to momentum, meaning if you stop, you might not be able to proceed.

Luigi, is a slippery little BASTARD, but he jumps higher so he takes a lot of getting used to. Luigi also has the bonus of being able to gain momentum while jumping . It means that while he is harder to use initially, Luigi is the better of the two brothers. He isn’t the complete waste of space I find him to be in the *OTHER* Super Mario 2.

I still love the music to the underwater levels.


There isn’t really much else to say, it is Super Mario Bros again. But much MUCH harder and better.

The difficulty is fair, and while it can be frustrating learning some of the jumps I’d put it on a par with Zelda 2, as one of the most satisfying games to beat.

The added difficulty, and the different abilities of Mario and Luigi means that there is more of a reason to replay the Lost Levels which ultimetly make it a better game than SMB1 and the *other* SMB2. But unless you GIT GUD, maybe stick to the SNES version with save states and unlimited continues.

Pros: Harder than your dad in a Thai massage parlour

Cons: Like a Thai massage parlour, there are some unexpected surprises


Back in the day:

I don’t speak Japanese, so I don’t know what people thought back in the day. But it scored fairly solidly with 8/10 on the Virtual Console re-releases on the Wii and WiiU.


I'm awesome. I write about videogames occasionally but spend most time painting and playing Warhammer in varying formats.

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Posted in Nintendo Entertainment System
7 comments on “Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels. Nintendo R&D4 (1986) Nintendo
  1. Tony Wilkins says:

    Easily one of my favorite SNES games. Not having a Famicom Disk System or Twin Famicom I have only ever played the original version via an emulator on my PSP. Now that is a challenge to say the least but like the best challenges it’s like this game says, “Ooops, never mind but you did well. Try again…Go on you know you want to.” It’s like Ninja Gaiden in that respect.

    Great write up mate

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Geddy says:

    I loved the heck outta my copy of Super Mario All-Stars when I was a kid! I first recall playing it in a hospital bed when I got my tonsils out, and then my mom bought it for me shortly thereafter.

    HOWEVER — Lost Levels was the only game in the collection that I simply could not handle. That game was tough. It was no wonder they only released it in the US in this compilation title!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hungrygoriya says:

    While playing the Super Mario All-Stars version, I also found that awful backwards warp pipe and just turned my game off. At the time, I was so tired and angry and couldn’t bear the thought of doing everything between World 5 and World 8 again.

    I definitely agree with you about this game being incredibly satisfying to beat. I think the dungeons are the absolute hardest part of the game with their stupid mazes. I’ve only played the game through with Mario, so maybe I’ll have to try with Luigi one of these days. His floaty jumps in the Western SMB2 make my heart flutter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • With Mario I died a lot because i didn’t get the momentum. With Luigi just press forward and he never loses his momentum, his floaty jump makes speed running possible, and kinda makes it more fun for me (because i suck) as you can control him in the air.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hungrygoriya says:

        I hear ya on losing momentum! I’d often be going slowly and being afraid to run into some Hammer Bros. or their hammers, but then find myself at the front of a terrible, huge pit that I’d inevitably need to jump into and kill myself. I’m glad you enjoyed the playthrough with Luigi. I’ll have to try that out sometime!

        Liked by 1 person

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